METABOLISM BOOSTING FOODS
If you are someone who has explored every weight-loss FAD, then I’m sure you have heard of ‘metabolism boosting’ or ‘fat burning’ foods. There is this idea that certain foods are able to increase your metabolism, helping you to lose weight without even really having to try. There are even products being developed on the market as supplements, that claim to basically lose weight for you! Could this be true? Let’s have a look at this under a magnifying glass…
what is metabolism?
Firstly, let’s break down the word ‘metabolism’ and really understand what it means. Your metabolism is the number of calories needed to fuel all the chemical processes that go on in your body, day and night. The metabolism consists of three main components. The first is the resting metabolism. This is the amount of energy your body is using when you are at complete rest, for all of the day to day functions that keep your heart beating and your brain ticking. Then, you have the metabolism required for physical activity. This is the energy needed to move your muscles when you are doing anything that requires movement. This includes the energy used to lift up your cup of tea towards your mouth for you to have a sip. Lastly, you have the thermic effect of food. This is the smallest proportion of metabolism and is the energy used to digest our food.
Can some foods help us lose weight?
Foods that are said to boost your metabolism include green tea, coffee and chilies. It is true that some stimulants can increase your heart rate and result in a small increase in metabolism. But, this increase is so small that it is hardly worth changing your eating habits in the hope of shedding a few pounds. A study that compared heavy coffee drinkers with people who drank very little coffee found that there was only a difference of 1 lb between the two groups over 12 years. I think you would agree that there are much more efficient ways of losing weight, as 12 years is a long time to wait for such a small effect. If you love coffee and spicy food then carry on doing what you do. But I wouldn’t advise taking them up as a weight-loss strategy, as you will probably be wasting a lot of time and many trips to the toilet.
Fat burning supplements are available on the market but pose a few risks to our health. DNP containing products have been associated with cases of comas and deaths, while green tea supplements have known to cause liver failure. The best and safest way to manage your weight is to eat mindfully and keep a balanced diet, full of vegetables and sources of protein, while keeping as active as you can. This is a much more efficient and sustainable way to achieve your goals, allowing you to stick to the foods you genuinely want to eat.